Town approves $5.7 million budget

by Geoff Fox

Town officials formally adopted the town’s fiscal year 2022 budget during their August town meeting.

Officials drafted and reviewed a preliminary budget during a special town meeting on July 26.

The final budget projects a total operating budget of $5,685,651 and a general fund of $4,836,701, which is what was presented in the preliminary discussion last month.

The general fund is made up of salaries and benefits for employees, administration operations, utilities, mayor and council, insurance, public safety, Public Works, parks/rec/community service, capitol outlays, and funds to reserve.

The funds to reserve are listed as $3.5 million and makes up the largest portion of the general fund.

The water department has a budget of $359,450; the wastewater operations budget is $328,500 and the sanitation budget is projected at $161,000.

On Tuesday, town attorney Ed Kuczynski assisted officials in finalizing budget approval.

The budget, he said, was originally supposed to be passed prior to July 1.

The budget was presented at the July 26 meeting with a public hearing, but the ordinance to accept a final version was not introduced.

Kuczynski said officials could pass it as an emergency ordinance with two effective dates – July 1, 2021 “to make the auditors feel better” and August 10, which is the date town officials formally approved the budget.

The Hancock News has requested a line-item version of the budget, with specific income and expense details, but town officials have not yet made that document available for public review.